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Ruling party returned as vote count finalized in Cook Islands election

Ruling party returned as vote count finalized in Cook Islands election

The Cook Islands' ruling Democratic Party has been confirmed the winner in the Pacific island nation's Sept. 27 elections, an official said Friday.
The Cook Islands' chief electoral registrar, Terry Hagan, said counting of special votes and ballots from outlying islands showed the Democratic Party held 14 seats of Parliament's 24 seats, while the main opposition Cook Islands Party had eight seats. A minor party held one seat and another electorate, Akaoa, remained tied.
"The tied result seat will now go to a judicial recount," Hagan told Radio New Zealand International Friday, saying that recount result should be known by Monday.
Hagan said the formation of government could now proceed, and Parliament would be called within 90 days according to the rules of the Cook Islands' constitution.
The result confirms Democratic Party leader Jim Marurai as prime minister and Terepai Maoate as his deputy.
Major policies of the two main parties are closely aligned.
During the campaign, both promised support for the tiny nation's main income earner, tourism, and for development of a black pearl industry that has attracted offers of marketing support from both China and Japan.
Also, both have promised political reform to prevent lawmakers swapping party allegiance after the election _ a key cause of political instability over the past decade.


Updated : 2020-12-01 14:28 GMT+08:00